Last week, we gave you information on common HVAC scams popping up all over the Lehigh Valley area this year, so this week we’re going to expand on that topic and give you some tips on how to avoid those scams all together.
Tips to Avoid HVAC Scams
Not every homeowner is an HVAC expert, so how do you avoid less obvious scams? Angie’s List is a great resource for reviews and company profiles, so you may want to start there. If you’re not sure if you’re being scammed or not, here are some helpful tips to avoid getting scammed:
- Check out the company
This includes checking for licensure and insurance. Look at reviews, make sure the company has a local physical address, and check with the Better Business Bureau and Department of Consumer Protection. Checking out the company also includes looking up certifications and affiliations. If a company isn’t affiliated with any reputable organizations, chances are it:
- Doesn’t require its technicians to undergo ongoing training and
- Isn’t a reputable company
Sure, you will always find brand new companies that are trying to get started, but these companies and technicians should still be licensed and certified. Just like you would want someone without a medical degree diagnosing your illness, you don’t want someone without proper training diagnosing your HVAC system.
Without a written estimate, you could be charged for unwanted or unneeded services and parts. A written estimate also gives you the chance to look over all the work that is being proposed and compare that with recommendations of other companies.
If you’re installing a new system, take note of the calculations and questions the technician asks. The size of your new unit should depend on the size of your home, the number of windows, and the number of people residing there. Insulation and the direction your home faces are also other factors to be considered. If you need repairs, familiarize yourself with the parts and common problems of your type of HVAC system.
One scam is to charge you for parts that were never actually replaced. You can avoid this by asking the technician for the old parts that were replaced.
With an HVAC maintenance plan, you’ll get regular checkups on your system, so you’ll have a better idea of its ongoing health. Since lack of maintenance is one of the most common causes of broken components, having your system regularly checked will also reduce the likelihood that you’ll need emergency repairs in the future.
When it comes to HVAC servicing and repairs, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Do your homework and research what the average price of service is in your area. If the price being offered is incredibly low-balled, it probably means something is amiss.
Knowing signs you need repairs and the average life expectancy of your equipment will help keep you from falling victim to buying a brand new system when you don’t need one. On average:
- A furnace has a life expectancy of 15 – 17 years
- An air conditioner has a life expectancy of 15 – 20 years
- A heat pump has a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years
- A geothermal system has a life expectancy of 20 – 25 years
Jack Lehr: An Allentown, PA HVAC Company You Can Trust
You can always avoid a scam by trusting the honest experts at Jack Lehr. With every visit, you’ll get a comprehensive diagnostic and a written estimate for the work to be done, as well as second opinions if need be. If you’re afraid you’re being scammed, give us a call and we’ll come on out for a free consultation. Contact us today to learn more about our services and maintenance plans.